For the third straight night, chaos and clashes with police were witnessed as people took to the streets of London in street gatherings that are still illegal under the coronavirus lockdown regulation.
Footage shared on social media showed officers being pelted by glass bottles as they tried to disperse a large crowd that had gathered on Harrow Road in West London.
In East London, meanwhile, police responded to reports that a large crowd had converged on the streets of Newham “who were setting up a sound system”. The Newham police said that one man was arrested and a
firearm was seized.
After police broke up the rave in Harrow Road another “street party” popped up in Maida Vale, where some 100 police were required to break up the gathering.
“[Police] trying to engage and persuade those attending to disperse, but some bottles and other objects have been thrown at officers,”
Sky News reported.
The riots come as the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, Dame Cressida Dick, revealed that in the past three weeks alone some 140 officers have been injured while policing Black Lives Matter protests and the past three nights of rioting.
Some have suggested that the increased willingness to attack police officers may be a result of the lax attitude law enforcement has taken towards policing Black Lives Matter protests across the country and some officers kneeling to protesters
undermining their authority.
The chaos followed an
announcement from London mayor Sadiq Khan that there may be GBP110 million in cuts to the budget of the Metropolitan Police, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), and the fire brigade, among other public bodies.
Khan insisted that the police and other frontline emergency services will see the lowest percentage of cuts, as the city looks to cut an estimated half a billion pounds to make up for revenue shortfalls resulting from the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
On Friday, the Home Secretary met with Met Police Chief Cressida Dick to urge her to take a harder line on the riots breaking out in the capital.
“The Home Secretary reiterated the message that there are many people across the country who have given up so much for a long time and there are people running riot across the streets, and the police should break them up,” a Home Office spokesman said.
“The message has been the law is the law and it’s the job of the police to enforce the law,” the Home office added.
A source close to Home Secretary Priti Patel
told The Sun: “It’s telling that the Mayor of London seems to be missing in action when there have been riots in his city.”
The illegal gatherings marked the third night of violent clashes with police in London, with similar instances of attacks on officers at street parties turned riots.
On Wednesday, a
“hostile” crowd of rioters chased police from an illegal gathering in Brixton, with some smashing police vehicles with makeshift clubs. One man appeared to brandish a sword during the violence, which left at least 22 police officers with injuries.
Similar if less severe scenes were witnessed on Thursday, with officers being
attacked by rioters with glass bottles and stones as they tried to disperse a crowd in Notting Hill.
There have also been reports of deadly shootings, stabbings, suspected drug overdoses, and rapes at illegal “quarantine raves” in other cities, such as Manchester.
Prior to the outbreak of the riots in London, Brexit leader Nigel Farage
warned that the issue of “law and order” will mark this decade in the same way that leaving the European Union defined the last decade.
While calling for the government to address “the social problems within society” that result in crime, Mr Farage said: “the sheer extent to which, now, people are regularly victims of crimes and yet they now have got to the point where they hardly even bother to report them.”
Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka